If your nonprofit organization has employees, a staff handbook can set out your expectations, as well as the organization’s policies and procedures. There are several key sections that should be included.
Usually, a staff handbook starts with a welcome section and may include an overview of the organization’s purpose and values. It may also include information about the organization’s leadership, departments and reporting structures.
It should include a reference to applicable employment policies. These policies explain how employees are classified, how compensation is paid and what their benefits are, the organization’s expectations for attendance, work hours and timekeeping, time off and the dress code, for example. If the organization offers an employee assistance program, the handbook should specify how employees can participate.
Many companies have a method for employees to report unethical or illegal behavior and that information can be included in the handbook for quick reference. Similarly, the handbook should include references to policies against harassment, discrimination and retaliation in the workplace.
The staff handbook is also a useful resource to explain the organization’s expectations for professionalism in the workplace. This may include topics like treating co-workers and customers with respect, cleaning up after themselves in common areas, and how to address staff conflicts if they arise, for example. It can also explain appropriate technology use, including email, social media and general internet usage.
Many employers require their employees to sign an acknowledgment that they have read and understand the expectations. The staff handbook can be tailored to your organization’s needs.